Style How to Grow Out Gray Hair — The Experts Weigh In

21:47  03 april  2017
21:47  03 april  2017 Source:   Allure

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How to Grow Out Gray Hair — The Experts Weigh In . At 17, I spotted my first gray hair , which I promptly attempted to cover myself by mixing muddy henna in a Tupperware bowl at my kitchen table. The resulting color was no different from my natural dark brown shade

At 41, one writer weighs of the pros and cons of putting down the hair dye, consulting experts on how to grow out gray hair without superexposed roots. After the gray is about halfway grown out , Sheppard would then cut my hair a little shorter than I usually do to remove some of the artificial color.

  How to Grow Out Gray Hair — The Experts Weigh In © Courtesy of Jennifer Garam

At 17, I spotted my first gray hair, which I promptly attempted to cover myself by mixing muddy henna in a Tupperware bowl at my kitchen table. The resulting color was no different from my natural dark brown shade, recalling that scene in Beaches where Barbara Hershey’s character dyes her hair the exact same color it was before.

Next came several years of me taking matters into my own hands, starting off with plucking the grays one by one and escalating to buying boxes of Clairol at the drugstore. This generally did the trick, but led to a couple of mishaps, including one memorable time when I was left with Frankenstein-like jet-black stains across my forehead because I didn’t use a skin protectant along my hairline.

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When I moved to New York City after college, I finally enlisted professional help. Since then I’ve bounced around to pricey salons in every corner of Manhattan, dropping more cash than I care to tally up in order to maintain my “natural” color. Even when money was tight, my hair-color splurge was something I just couldn’t give up.

But in addition to the cost, there have been other downsides of trying to maintain this routine. As I get older (I'm 41 now), there’s more and more gray, making regrowth increasingly obvious. And while I don’t mind hanging out with friends when my roots are showing, there are certain situations when I feel self-conscious about it, like on dates and for professional engagements. That means if I’m going out with a guy or speaking on a panel, I’ll plan a trip to the salon accordingly.

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HairHow to Grow Out Gray Hair — The Experts Weigh In . So we decided to ask a few hair experts —you know, the ones who actually went to school to learn how to cut hair —for their reaction to the Zylist.

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Kendra Cunningham{: rel=nofollow}, a stand-up comic who lives in Brooklyn, also started going gray early. She was 30 percent gray by the time she was 19 and has consistently colored her hair since. As a blonde, she has less noticeable roots than I do, but she still feels self-conscious about having any gray showing, especially as a performer. “If I have shows coming up, I definitely try to get to the salon beforehand,” says Cunningham. “I don’t want to be thinking about that and taking any energy away from what I’m doing [on stage].” And while she says she may let it go natural when she’s much older, she has no plans to stop dying her hair for the foreseeable future.

Conversely, Wendy Hutter, a New York City-based brand advisor who started going gray in her mid-20s, has always embraced it. “I’m a diehard; I never wanted to [color it] and I never will,” she says. “I like the way it looks, and who needs all that maintenance in terms of money and time?”

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HairHow to Grow Out Gray Hair — The Experts Weigh In . You apply it to towel-dried hair , which makes it a bit hard to see how much color has been deposited. I raked three palmfuls of the Lucky Copper through my hair and dried it a bit to see the progress.

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  How to Grow Out Gray Hair — The Experts Weigh In © Getty Images

Hutter has received an overwhelmingly positive response to her silver hair, and says she’s frequently stopped by strangers on the street (and once by airport security) who compliment her on it. And in a sea of people who color their hair, Hutter feels that her natural gray makes her stand out. “It differentiates me,” she says of her signature look.

Given the expense, and my increasing self-consciousness about my roots, lately I’ve been fantasizing about letting my gray grow out. But, like clockwork, whenever I hit the two-month mark, I crack and hit the salon. I’ve been coloring my hair for so long, I don’t know how gray I actually am. If I grew it out, would I look like a hipster Brooklyn writer? Or more like a grandmother?

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Going gray — especially going gray at a relatively young age — is a mental and emotional hurdle. Could I really go through with it? How would I get through the awkward growing-out process? I’d obviously have to update all my photos on my respective dating app profiles, and when I did, would I get as many swipes with the gray? To answer all but my last question, I talked to my colorist Kristin DuFour of the Sam Brocato Salon in New York City. (On a side note, check out her Instagram for gorgeous color inspiration.)

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HairHow to Grow Out Gray Hair — The Experts Weigh In . Liz, on the other hand, didn't mind the scent, and certainly didn't mind how manageable it left her hair : "Between the bleach and the constant pastel hair dye, my hair texture is dry and rough.

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First off, while to me it looks like I’m grandma-level gray because of what I see along my part, DuFour told me that I’m not as gray as I thought. It turns out that I’m less than 50 percent gray, primarily concentrated on the top and in the front. There’s not a lot of gray in the section of my head that I don’t see — the back — which DuFour says is pretty common.

Because I get single-process permanent color, there’s a harsh line of demarcation between my natural gray and the artificial color as it grows out. To make the transition less noticeable, DuFour recommends using the same color I currently use, but foiling it in in pieces instead of applying it all over. This would be similar to a highlighting process, but using a color that’s close to my natural brown shade, not lighter.

As a result, the artificial color would blend in with rather than fully cover the gray, breaking up that stark line at the roots. I’d have to do this process every six to eight weeks about two to three times, and then I could just let my hair grow without coloring it anymore. It’s never perfect, she says, but it softens the line of regrowth and would ease me into letting all the gray come in.

If I decide to continue coloring my hair and not grow out the gray, DuFour suggests going with a highlight-lowlight process instead of a single process to minimize my roots. In this case, she wouldn’t apply the allover color, which is what creates that harsh line. The lowlights would be the same shade as my natural dark brown color to diffuse some of the gray, and the highlights would be a lighter brown or dark blonde to create dimension and distract from the gray that would still be visible in places. But that line of demarcation would be broken up more when the gray grows in than it is currently with the single process.

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HairHow to Grow Out Gray Hair — The Experts Weigh In . Do you think all women inherently know how to pull their own hair back better than anyone else? "It's just something that they do! Like they can get really fussy and they are like 'Give me that.'

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This highlight-lowlight service can cost about two to three times more than the single process, but the maintenance is a lot less. For gray coverage, DuFour says single-process clients need to come in every four to six weeks, while those doing the highlight-lowlight process can go 10 to 12 weeks between visits.

Next, I talked to my longtime stylist, Sydney Sheppard at Bumble and Bumble in New York City, to get more tips about how to grow out my gray as painlessly as possible. Her advice: Continue to wear my curly hair long because for the first several months, because my best bet is to wear it up in a ponytail or bun to further soften that root line. And also, pick up a color crayon like Bumble and Bumble’s new Bb. Color Stick to cover some of the gray as it grows in along my hairline and part. She prefers the color crayon to the sprays or powders, which look great but might come off on pillowcases or clothing. With the crayon, it’s easy to match your color, and it stays on until you wash your hair.

After the gray is about halfway grown out, Sheppard would then cut my hair a little shorter than I usually do to remove some of the artificial color. She cautions against doing anything too drastic — going gray is already a big enough change. After that initial cut, I’d come by for regular trims until all of the artificial color was gone, a process she estimated should take about a year.

While there’s a stigma with aging in our society, DuFour and Sheppard agree that going gray has become more common in the past few years, even for younger women. According to DuFour, the trend of young women intentionally dyeing their hair gray has contributed to this (a trend that Allure highlighted just a few months ago). Some of her clients cite the trend as a reason to embrace their own gray hair, she says.

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How to Grow Out Gray Hair — The Experts Weigh In . At 41, one writer weighs of the pros and cons of putting down the hair dye, consulting experts on how to grow out gray hair without super exposed roots .

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Sheppard thinks that busyness could have something to do with more women choosing to let their hair go gray. “People don’t have time in their lives to keep up with [coloring] it,” she says. “There’s no time, and it’s totally acceptable now to rock your awesome gray hair with a cool cut.”

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As for confidently pulling it off, Sheppard says that attitude is everything: “You have to be comfortable with who you are. You gotta be in a good place and be like, ‘Screw it, I am who I am.’”

So will I be able to go through with it? The jury’s still out. I imagine feeling so liberated and empowered, not to mention richer, should I decide to grow out my gray. But then there’s the vanity issue: I love that I’m often mistaken for being five to ten years younger than I am, and I don’t know if I’m ready to give that up. Letting the gray come in might propel me into a bold new look, or be too much of a shock to my system.

Regardless, I feel more likely to try it after formulating a grow-out plan with my colorist and stylist, and getting inspiration from talking to other women about their gray. And whatever I decide, it’s good to know that I have options to cope with the aspect I’m most self-conscious about: roots. So whether I grow out my gray altogether or opt for a highlight-lowlight process and let some of the gray show through, I can be comfortable with who I am and rock my awesome hair.

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By Adam Hurly. I can live happily knowing that most late-90s trends will never (hopefully?) be back in style: JNCO jeans and puka-shell necklaces are still buried in a time capsule. I pray they stay there. I would have said the same for guys getting highlights—I'm picturing Chris Kirkpatrick and Nick Lachey with their immortally frosted tips. But recently I’ve been seeing subtle highlights on the runway and in editorial spreads and I have to say, I don't hate it. Most recently, Chris Evans graced the cover of L’Uomo Vogue sporting a barely-noticeable-yet-definitely-lightened layer on top of his naturally darker hair. He's not using highlights to stand out. He's using them to blend in, to add depth to his styles. “Everything we’re seeing now is understated, almost sun-soaked,” says Tyson Kennedy, co-owner of Cutler Salon in NYC. “Lately, guys prefer a more natural look, working with the hair’s traits instead of forcing anything against the color, texture, and flow.” Kennedy attributes the highlight resurgence to a ramping-down of recent hairstyle trends, like the gray and platinum hair dyeing, as well as all of the “classic, structured barbershop looks” that have dominated for the past few years. “For a while, everything was bold, and demanded attention,” he says. “We had slicked-back undercuts with shiny pomades and tight fades, lots of really strong looks.” Natural-looking highlights allow guys to loosen up, to relax.

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